Briefing: Jinri Toutiao partners with tourist sites to find lost individuals

头条寻人联合全国27家5A级景区发起“景区寻人” – Jinri Toutiao

What happened: Bytedance’s content aggregator Jinri Toutiao has formed new partnerships with 27 major tourist attractions in China to help visitors find missing family members during the upcoming Labor Day holiday. After an online application with highly detailed information about the individual is received, the app sends out notices to users who are near the attractions to ask for assistance in locating the person. Tourist spots such as Hangzhou’s West Lake, Shaolin Temple, and the Old Town of Lijiang are among the sites partnering with the company.

Why it’s important: Bytedance has been leveraging Jinri Toutiao’s massive user base to help relocate lost individuals for several years at major tourist attractions, which can multiply the number of visitors by a factor of up to 10, according to at least one site. This is the first time the company has formally partnered with the tourist sites. The platform launched the people-finding feature in February 2016, and it has since become one of the largest tools for relocating lost individuals, reuniting more than 9,000 people with their families as of writing. While the content aggregator has been under criticism for lowbrow content since its launch, its increased effort on its people-finding functionality could potentially help with creating a more positive public image.